COLUMBIA — Briefs were filed Friday in Cole County Circuit Court addressing both sides of the Ryan Ferguson murder case.
Judge Daniel Green will review the briefs Monday, according to the state Attorney General's Office. Ultimately, Green will rule to either grant or deny Ferguson a new trial.
Ferguson is currently serving a 40-year sentence for second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the 2001 strangling death of Kent Heitholt, 48, the late sports editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune. Ferguson was convicted in 2005.
Kathleen Zellner, Ferguson's attorney, said her 92-page submission summarized all of the evidence in the case. She called the brief the most comprehensive document ever filed on Ferguson’s behalf.
Zellner said it referenced 10 years of procedures from trials, pre-trial depositions and habeas hearings.
During the case's evidentiary hearing in April, two witnesses recanted their original testimonies.
Charles Erickson, who implicated Ferguson's involvement in the murder, now says he has no memory of that night and is unsure of his and Ferguson's involvement.
Jerry Trump, the former Columbia Daily Tribune janitor who has provided eyewitness accounts, later said he falsely identified Ferguson as one of the men he saw the night of Heitholt's death.
The Innocence Project, a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people, also filed a brief Friday in support of Ferguson, Zellner said.
Zellner said she expects Green to take sufficient time to review the material but has indicated he wants to make a decision quickly.
Supervising editor is Jeanne Abbott.